FINLAND - Finnish meat and food processor Atria Group saw net sales grow by €2.8 million year-on-year reaching €363.4 million in the fourth quarter of the year compared to €360.6 million in the previous year.
Consolidated EBIT was €18.6 million compared to the previous year’s €10.6 million.
In Sweden, Atria concluded an agreement for the sale of the Falbygdens cheese business to Arla Foods AB, with a view to focusing on its core business.
The deal includes the transfer of the Falbygdens cheese business and its employees, the production plant in Falköping and the Falbygdens brand to Arla.
The number of employees being transferred is about 100.
Atria said that the sale will reduce the company’s annual net sales by approximately €52 million and EBIT by some €3 million.
The deal is subject to the approval of the Swedish Competition Authority and Consumer Agency.
The Swedish Competition Authority announced its decision to carry out a phase two proceeding of the transaction on 15 December.
Atria Finland's net sales for the fourth quarter were €243.6 million
Compared to €226.0 million in the previous year, showing growth of €17.6 million year-on-year.
Atria said that this increase was down to the consolidation of the operations acquired from Saarioinen into Atria, and poultry feed sales.
EBIT came to €15.6 million compared to €9.1 million in the previous year.
The processor said that the increase in comparable EBIT was because of improved cost management and higher average sales prices year-on-year.
The integration of the operations in Jyväskylä and Sahalahti into
Atria's production processes went well and enhanced productivity, the company said.
Atria Scandinavia's net sales for the fourth quarter reached €94.9 million down from €102.9 million.
At comparable exchange rates, net sales fell by 4.1 per cent year-on-year.
Atria said that this was due to the poor performance of the food market and an increase in the market share of private labels.
EBIT for the fourth quarter amounted to € 4.7 million compared to €5.7 million in the same period in the previous year. EBIT was reduced by lower sales volumes.
Atria Russia's net sales for the fourth quarter amounted to €22.3 million
Compared to last year’s €30.6 million, although at comparable exchange rates, net sales remained stable year-on-year.
EBIT showed a reduced loss of €0.9 million compared to €1.9 million.
In late 2013, Atria launched an efficiency improvement programme and decided to discontinue industrial production and the operation of the logistics unit in Moscow by the end of 2014.
As part of the programme, Atria has sold the real estate company in Moscow for €12 million giving a positive effect of €0.5 million on earnings.
Atria Baltic's net sales for the fourth quarter were €8.5 million compared to €7.9 million.
EBIT was € 0.1 million the same as teh previous year.
Oversupply in the European meat market decreased pork prices towards the end of the year, affecting the ability of primary production to make a profit.
In the retail sector, Atria brands increased their market share, particularly in consumer-packed meat.
Atria Group's net sales for the whole of 2014 were €1,426.1 million compared to €1,411.0 million in 2013, growing €15.1 million year-on-year.
EBIT came to €40.6 million compared to €19.7 million in 2013.
The company said that rapid changes in the global meat market situation affected business predictability in 2014. The reasons that led to the imbalance in the meat market included Russia's import ban on EU meat and the decrease in the market price of pork in Europe.
Predictability was further complicated by Atria's exposure to high volatility in the value of the Russian ruble, the processor said.
Atria's share of the income from joint ventures and associates for
January-December was €6.2 million compared to €2.3 million in 2013.
A joint venture of Atria, the Finnish Meat Research Institute LTK Co-operative, sold its subsidiary Maustepalvelu Oy. LTK recorded a profit for the sale, of which €7.3 million was paid to Atria as a dividend.
Atria acquired Saarioinen Oy's procurement, slaughtering and cutting operations for beef, pork and chicken. The operations were consolidated into Atria as of 1 February 2014. The purchase price was €29.2 million. In addition, €4.2 million was paid for receivables from producers.
Investments in 2014 totalled €62.7 million compared to €41.1 million in the previous year. During the
review period, the Group's free cash flow (operating cash flow - cash flow from
investments) was € 44.3 million (€ 54.1 million) and net liabilities
decreased to € 250.7 million (31 December 2013: € 305.9 million).
Atria Finland's net sales for January-December totalled €945.5 million compared to €886.8 million in 2013.
This increase was down to the consolidation of the operations acquired from Saarioinen at the beginning of February and the launch of poultry feed sales at the beginning of the year.
EBIT for the year came to €33.6 million compared to €32.9 million.
Atria Scandinavia's net sales for January-December totalled €371.9 million
Compared to €395.0 million in 2013.
A decline in meat consumption and the strengthening of the market shares of private labels were the key reasons for the decrease in Atria Scandinavia's net sales in 2014, the company said.
BIT for the year reached € 14.9 million compared to €12.2 million in the previous year.
This increase was the result of improved cost-efficiency in the supply chain and more stable raw material prices.
Atria Russia's net sales for January-December totalled €98.8 million compared to €121.5 million in 2013, representing a drop of €22.7 million.
At a comparable exchange rates, net sales fell by €3.1 million year-on-year. This decrease in comparable net sales was due to the discontinuation of primary production in late 2013.
EBIT for the year showed a loss of €5.7 million compared to the loss of €21.0 million in 2013.
Atria Baltic's net sales for January-December totalled €34.5 million compared to €32.9 million. EBIT for the year was static. In June, Atria sold a factory located in Vilnius, Lithuania. The deal resulted in a non-recurring sales loss of € 0.4 million.
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